• Released
  • March 8, 2013
  • R , 1 hr 41 min
  • Suspense/Thriller
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75

Chicago Sun-Times

An eccentric period melodrama with horror-flick overtones. Occasionally incoherent but never dull, the movie brims with weird imagery.
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70

Arizona Republic

By Bill Goodykoontz
Dominik Moll downplays the overtly scandalous nature of the story, at least for a while, with a leisurely pace heavy on imagery. He’s made a beautiful-looking film that portends disaster. And disaster arrives, eventually. It just takes its time getting there.
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70

Village Voice

The finale, in which godly rites are juxtaposed against the vilest of sins, builds to an unholy power.
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60

The Guardian

By Peter Bradshaw
It is not a story of great depth or passion, but there are intriguing and unsettling moments on its well-crafted surface.
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60

Total Film

Director Dominik Moll makes some odd style choices – like Looney Tunes-style ‘iris wipes’ – and it’s a while before Cassel fully embraces his dark side, yet his customary charisma is what seals The Monk’s redemption.
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60

Time Out New York

The sense of old-school piety as lust under inhuman pressure is juicy and polished, if a little earnest about spiritual conflict and too entranced with its LOTR-ish medieval trappings. In fact, as monksploitation goes, Dominik Moll’s film is sober and straight when it should be crazy and hot-blooded.
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60

Empire

By Kim Newman
An austere, cerebral reading of a book which is unfettered, blood-bolstered and wildly sensationalist — Lewis is the father of torture porn, not a master of subtle chills. It’s interesting and unsettling, with a charismatic lead performance, but nowhere near as shocking as it should be.
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50

Los Angeles Times

By Sheri Linden
Moll's restraint gives way to a tastefully overwrought checklist of Gothic imagery. In the cloistered shadows and the harsh Castilian sun, the visuals are handsome, even as the movie threatens to tip into parody.
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40

The Hollywood Reporter

Ultimately the movie disappoints, falling between two stools and failing to convince either as spectacle or as a fable about religious obsession.
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38

Slant Magazine

Dominik Moll never addresses Matthew Gregory Lewis's original groundbreaking ideas in the film, nor does he rework the material for a contemporary audience.
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56 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.